Thursday, April 12, 2012


Where does your inspiration come from from your quilts?  Mine comes from lots of places, usually old quilts, quilt shows or books.  But my latest little quilt has come from my early fabric scraps-early as when I first started quilting in the early 1980’s and a book as well. 

scrap basket

I had planned this quilt for some time but this book I acquired called Simply Charming by Tara Lynn Darr provided the template for me to start this little gem.  This book is a little gem also with great, easy small quilts along with quotes appropriate combining life, family and quilting.

Simply Charming

I am calling this small quilt Very Important Prints or VIP’s.  This is a play on Cranston Print Works fabric called VIP which I have no idea what it stood for.  In my case there is a variety of prints, the majority VIP, but there is a good representation of other fabrics in this quilt as well.  There is Marcus, RJR, Springmaid, Concord, Fabric Traditions, Wamsutta and more.  These are fabrics I first acquired and were in probably my first 3 or 4 quilts.  It’s a scrap quilt which I also love.  I will always have this quilt to remind me of the fabrics that were available to me at the time I started quilting.


I just came back from a trip to see my folks.  I was there about a week and I brought back something that is giving me more inspiration-an aluminum plate.  This plate is 80 years old and when I saw it I instantly thought appliqué.  It is a plate that was made in college by a cousin of mine, but we always called her Aunt Margrette.  She was going to school to be a Home Economics teacher in the early 1930’s.  I really don’t know what technique was used to make this plate, but it is hand made.  It may have been etched or engraved or something else.  Do you see the 8-pointed star?

tulip plate

The plate measures 8” and there is a 1/4” band enclosing the tulips.  I really don’t if when I get around to doing this as a quilt if I would put that band on each block or not.  Right now I am thinking about a 4-block quilt as appliqué is not a technique I enjoy.

You can find inspiration for your quilts in just about anything.  You just need to keep an open mind.

Sew Having Fun,


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Starting Over

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my last post.  We still have cleanup from the tornado last April as limbs continue to drop out.  I have been to 3 retreats since I last wrote and also visited my folks for a couple weeks.  But the last few months I have been sewing.  Really rare for me.  I attribute it to stopping a medication.

I am in an orange mood for a while.  As I get older I am really liking orange.  I will wear orange when I am an old woman instead of purple.

Here is a picture of a top I completed since last retreat.  It still needs quilting.


I gave the gals 8 small frog preprinted blocks.  It was not a challenge or anything, I just saw them and ordered them. I got the extras and I had been wanting to try the Exploding Pineapple block by Karin Hellaby from her first book Sew Simple Pineapple.  The first link will take you to her website and the link on the book will take you to YouTube for a video by Checker Distributors showing you this easy technique.

I call this piece Stitch for Stars!  My students at retreat have a tendency to go crazy over the frog stickers I give out IF they rip on a block.  I also give them a star sticker when they complete the block.  They have gotten to the point when I asked if they ripped they just say: “Of course, you need to ask?” or something similar.  So I have gotten tough and now look if they say and try to prove them wrong.  A lot of times I do.  I think they now realize that frog stickers don’t come free just because you are working on a Dear Jane block or Nearly Insane or something even easier than those two collections of blocks.

I don’t want to wear myself or you out here, so I will go sew on something.  Next time I will let you see what my new project is and show you another piece that was completely done since I last talked with you.

Sew Having Fun,